Monday, December 14, 2009

One hand givith...

The other taketh away...

I commented to some friends the other day that in doing the reading for my Arch class I was pleased and amazed at my ability to comprehend Arch subjects that previously bored or baffled me.

However, this apparently has shut down the part of my brain related to processing Japanese. I have spent the last 2 hours studying for my 8:00 am final and realized I had read the same damn sentence three times and still couldn't figure out what it meant... even after reading the helpful translation at the bottom of the page.


I think I will stop, get up early and study some more before the test. Hopefully retain something.


We are not amused.

Model Building part 3

Here is the final barrel vault we built last weekend.

As always click the linkee below to see the complete photo set. (there is even a bonus dog photo.)

Arch 332 - Model 3

The material was air hardening clay.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Model Building Mehem...

Apparently I forgot to post the pictures of our barrel vault test that we made earlier in the semester. Here are the pictures up until the camera batteries died.

Click the pretty picture below to view the photo set.

Barrel Vault Photoset

About 10 seconds after battery died we removed the form and due to a flaw in the form's construction it snagged one of the bricks and the whole thing collapsed.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Thoughts on Etching ( much delayed.)

Ething a metal can be used to add texture, transfer imagery, or deepen existing imagery.

Rule 1: Etchants will etch you. Take precautions. They will also etch clothing, tools, and surfaces.. Strong etchants like Nitric Acid will cause permanent scarring and blindness. Even weaker ones can stain skin and clothes. Wear appropriate protection for the strength of the etchant, my minimum protection is safety glasses, nitrilite gloves and a shop apron. I etch with ferric chloride... if you use plan to use a stronger then upgrade to chemical gloves, arespirator and a rubber apron If you are using an acid keep baking soda around to neutralize spills and splashes .

For an effective alternate etchant not as dangerous as Nitric... but supposedly more effective then Ferric see this indestructable:!--A-better-etc/

Rule 2: Store and etch in appropriate containers. I etch in a pyrex dish, used etchent goes into an HDPE bottle for later disposal. Since I don't know, how ABS or other plastics react to Ferric I avoided them.

Rule 3: Cleanliness is next to godliness. This mean you metal MUST be clean. Any surface contamination can act as a resist, which can cause result other then anticipated. This ALSO means clean up/neutralize your spilled etchant quickly to avoid staining/etching something other then the target piece.

Rule 4: Anywhere there is not a resist will be etched. Resists can be anything that prevents the etchant from touching the surface of the metal. Examples of etchant: PnP blue transfer paper, fingernail polish, tape (waterproof), and even sharpie mrkers.

Rule 5: Shake it like you aren't supposed to shake a polaroid picture! don't actually shake it. But if you place the piece to be etched with the side to be etched face down and occasionally agitate the container there are two benefits. First the etched material will occasionally form a precipitate which can stick to the piece and slow down etching. Agitating allows that to follow away from your piece. The second advantage is it keeps fresh concentration of the etchant in contact with your piece.

Rule 6: Rinse! Rinse! Rinse! When the proper etching amount is reached you need to wash the piece or otherwise neutralize the etchant.

Here is a scenario of the steps I go through while etching.

Materials needed:
Tweezers (copper), Etchant, Electrical tape, Pyrex dish, needle probe (made out of heavy gauge copper wire), safety equipment, and the piece to be etched.

Step 1: Put on saftey equipment.
Step 2: Clean the metal.
Step 3: Transfer the image (either drawn on with a sharpie or PnP image whatever...)
Step 4: Cover every part Not currently being etched with a resist.

*whoops Time for Math test... To be continued...*

Monday, October 19, 2009

Ow... ow...

Normally at this point when I am complaining about pain it is because I have been chased around the dojo.

In this case I was stuck in a chair and tortured by the worlds most obnoxious dental hygenist. In addition to being completely oblivious to the amount of pain she caused the was on non-stop monologue of critiques of my past dentist, my brushing habits, the brushing habits of other people in the office, brushing habits of everyone else on campus. She delivered this in a shrill nasal whine that was every bit as much painful as cleaning.

You know it's bad when the dental tech who takes your x-rays afterward leans forward and whispers "I'm sooooo sorry."

I have never had an unpleasant dentist visit before this.

You get 50% off for using on campus dental services... I'm trying to decide if it's worth it...

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Sorta Swamped...

School work is piling up.. there will be a post coming regarding etching I swear...

However, while working my way through the many Arch related photos I had to crop and color correct today I rand a cross this one of the Girl and I our roommate took right before we headed out to Friday Night Kilt meetup.

I don't have kilt down here and was woefully underdressed for the night.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Stuff rolls down hill.

So apparently my math class did not do so well over all, with our class average being 8 out 9 classes.

This appeared to have bothered my math professor as she managed to deliver in an hour 19 (by my count) passive aggressive NASTY slurs about our class while delivering them in a chipper cheerful voice.

I was a little flabbergasted.

For the record I did okay, not great.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Your thought for the day...

Sure... they're laughing now... but when I finish training my Alpaca Army they'll be sorry.

Monday, September 21, 2009

S.N. F.A. F.U.



Remember how I said my finaid was sorta moving forward?

Forget that. Not only was the amount of the expected refund wrong (I.e. they quoted my the entire year's pell grant instead of this semester) so instead of a $2700 refund check today I got a bill for $200...

But also... my Alaska Student Loan still hasn't been submitted.

5 weeks after AKLoan sent the local finaid office the paperwork they haven't sent it back.

I hate life.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Details Matter...

In the course of my weekend reading I just discovered the mentor of my Arch History professor was the favored student, employee, and protègé of my second least favorite Architect.

So my Professor's Professor's Professor was someone who's designs I dislike greatly*.

This is important, because I am apt to bring up one of said Architect's buildings as an example of pretty but failed design.

However, not in this class.

*In fairness his ideas are frequently great, it's just the niggly little details that make the buildings usable for humans he kept screwing up.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Speak Like a Pirate! DO IT!

This is what is currently wandering around my house saying "Arr" a lot.

More pictures available upon request. Ohhh... okay here's one more for free.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Oh yeah... he'll go far.

Last post of the day, I swear.

A few minutes ago one of my Architecture classmates came over and made small talk about the Architecture History class we have together.

I was flattered he recognized me out of a class of 172 students considering we have never met previously, though in retrospect... I am one of two middle aged guys in the class and we both sit together at the top, whereas he looks just like all the other backwards ball cap wearing Gap clones that populate the campus.

ANYWAY.... the point being is he spent the better part of 15 minutes ranting about what a waste of time the class was, how boring the reading was etc...

When he finally wound down, the girl sitting at the table next to us leaned over (she is also apparently in the class...) and said "Do you know the phrase 'Those forget History are doomed to repeat it?"

"Yeah." He muttered in surly tone.

"Do you think by examining past mistakes and successes we stand a better chance of being better architects?" She raised one eyebrow and waited.

This clearly was to much for him. He muttered something under his breath and shuffled back to his group.

"Dumbass." She muttered as he left, and then turned towards me with one eyebrow raised, a fierce expression on her face.

"Don't look at me," I raised my hands in mock surrender "you said what I was thinking."

She snorted dismissively and returned to her reading.

In further retrospect I should have introduced myself before she got up that's the sorta person I'd rather work with when we start on the projects in a couple weeks.

I think I'm turning Emo-ese, I think I'm turning Emo-eze, I really think so...

So I'm sitting here at the student union listening to Pandora and a not entirely unpleasant song came on that I didn't recognize.

A quick jump to that active window revealed that I was grooving to Death Cab for Cutie.

Does that mean I'm turning Emo? Is there a treatment? What would be the antidote? Do I have to go suck down a bunch of Willie Nelson? Or is the treatment applications of eardrum shattering heavy metal?

Maybe if I just listened to all Johnny Cash the rest of the day I can prevent myself from developing a stupid haircut. Though given how short I keep my hair these days... it'll be while before I manage to get the bangs down to cover just one eye....

FinAid... slightly less screwed up.

One of the batches of checks has shown up... almost exactly 30 days later then they were supposed to.

And by showed up I mean, they are here on campus and I have signed them. The U still needs to cash them, process them and then cut me a check for the identical amount and mail it to me.

I should (in theory) be able to eat again Friday or Monday. Probably Monday.

I'm excited.

The person who was manning the FinAid desk was actually the person responsible for this being as screwed up as it is. There was a little surreal moment when I asked if there was a way I could arrange to pick up the checks instead of having them mailed to me and she said to me:

"If I get them processed today, accounting will pull a batch report tomorrow and print the checks the next day, and mail them the day after. They only mail them, no pickup, sorry." *she gave a little laugh* "That's assuming I get it done today, I'm a week behind on everything."

She then accidentally met my eyes. I can't imagine what the expression was on my face, but she stopped laughing.

Very carefully I said "And what exactly would it take for you to process these today?"

"I just have to fill out this form and send it over to accounting." she gestured a stack of pink paper.

My eyes rested briefly on the stack of papers, and then met hers again. The silence stretched out uncomfortably.

Her eyes dropped and she shifted uncomfortably in her chair, reaching out she pulled the pink form to her. "I'll just fill this out right now."

I also extracted from her that she sent the AK student loan stuff in, only a week after she promised me she would. Since it takes the loan people 4-6 hours to get them in the system I think I will call tomorrow and see if she actually did it.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Familiar Stranger syndrome

Recently my dad posted an unearthed radio interview with my Grandfather (for whom I am named.)

Last night I got a chance to listen to it and hearing his strong voice, the constant humor, and the intelligence that was his signature was both wonderful and painful. Wonderful for the gift of knowing him was and painful for the loss.

It seemed to have triggered a round of home-sickness in me and I could feel it creeping on before I went to bed last night, but it is really strong today.

It seems like every glance out of the cornor of my eye, every half-seen silhouette, every half heard conversation is a reflection of someone I know, someone I haven't seen in too long, someone I miss.

Frankly, it sucks.

You spend so much time thinking you have gotten used to it, and to be so strongly and abruptly reminded of it it both distracting and painful. I am lucky at that at least now I have friend down here to blunt the pain but still...

Friday, September 4, 2009

Textbooks redeux and Finaid is in fact still screwed up.

It's taken me almost a week to write this post without swearing.

I had been told several times by several different people that there was now way to get access to my expected financial aid to buy books except to wait for the check, cash it and then buy books with the cash.

They were wrong.

One of the financial aid officers (while I was standing in line) mentioned to another student that his book loan had been approved. When I got to the front of the line I enquired, and for a $30 fee I could take a loan out up to $500 against my expected return.

So I did.

It took them a couple hours to process it and when I got out of class I verified that there were funds on my student account and then marched over to the book store.

Selecting only the needed items brought my total to $416. I happily marched up to the register. Standing in line I overheard people at the front complaining about problems with their cards. I didn't know if they meant their student account cards or credit cards. (See it's helpful to pay attention to your surroundings)

I got to the front, we swiped my card, and it refused to print a receipt giving a "Cannot connect to host" error message. Subsequent attempts to re-ring up the sale were declined at three other registers and the customer service desk. I was the directed to go to the bookstore accounting office in back where they would help me.

This was in fact a lie.

The swiped my card and discovered that I couldn't buy books because I only had $84 on my card. Me being a clever bloke pointed out that $500 - 416 = $84. Please print me off a reciept so I could go.

However the office person would be having none of that. I pointed out that I had already paid for the books, she assured me that the sales droid had canceled the sale (by writing cancel on the error receipt printout) Her solution was that I wait until Wednesday when she would manually refund the money to my card and then I could buy the books then.

10 minutes of arguing ensued...

I won. I won't bore you with the details. But suffice to say I out-stubborned and out-escalated her.

Oh and regarding the financial aid.

Let me present to you two sentances:

"We are waiting for the paper checks from the loan provider"


"We failed to fax back the paperwork the loan provider sent us three weeks and they are waiting for us to do our damn jobs so you can get your student loans."

Do these sentences look even remotely alike? Do any of my beloved readers think these sentances have the same meaning?

Because one of them, I have been told every single time I have gone into the financial aid office since class started last week, and the other one is what really happened. I will leave it to you, dear reader, to discern which is which.

Oh, and just to give you the tiniest hint... only one person processes loans in the Finaid office. That person went on vacation the week school started, the single busiest week of the year for them. Anything that wasn't processed before the vacation is only being looked at now.

I swear to god if this keeps up they are going to have to prescribe me anti-psychotics.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Text Book Ruminations

So as I sit here contemplating an unsatisfying bowl of cold ramen before class and wait for my financial aid check to show up I have to consider just how slightly screwed up the situation is.

Now, complaining about text books is one of those universal gripes that all college students have, but considering the lead time between when you are expected to have the books and when you actually get money from the school to buy those books it's particularly irksome. There is no way to transfer money from your loans to your school account before they issue you a refund... you have to wait to get the check, cash it, wait for it to clear the bank (5-7 days if the refund check is over $1000) and THEN transfer money to buy book and supplies.

I guess they expect you to pay for the books out of pocket and reimburse yourself later.

Problem is that I may in fact be setting a new personal record for textbook costs this year. One Architecture class alone has 10 books, 5 required, 3 strongly recommended and 2 optional. If I just buy the required texts for the class I'm at $453. Oh, and one of the books has been out of print for 30 years and they have ~50 copies for a class of 102 students. My language class is going to cost me $134 for books and finally math is $99.

That is $686 just for books. I haven't gotten into the supplies.

I did mention I'm eating Ramen, right? What student has $700 just lying around to blow on books that isn't earmarked for anything else?

And before you ask, there is a copy of the language books in the library, math text is not, and 2 of the 5 Architecture books are available at the library. The other three were checked out (not supposed to be possible) and never returned.

If you will excuse me I have to go sit in my math class and pretend I am following along in a text book I don't have.

Friday, August 28, 2009

FinAid Fixed.

I guess that means I actually get to eat this semester. Wheee.

Friday, August 21, 2009


Situation Normal All Financial Aid Fouled Up.

The local FinAid office has record of my putting in needed paperwork back in May but managed to lose the paperwork. Let me repeat that: they have a record of it being submitted but apparently no-one did anything with it and it has since been lost.

Because I'm paranoid I checked with them a month before classes started, and 15 days before my bill was due just to make sure the ducks were in a row.

They, of course weren't.

So I re-submitted the paperwork in time for their weekly meeting, making sure I included Information A, B and C which I verified with them.

Committee took a look at the information and denied the claim because I didn't include information D and E... which they didn't tell me I needed when I asked.

Resubmitted the paperwork and waited for their weekly meeting again.

And... it was rejected again. Because apparently anytime the paperwork has been rejected by the committee it has to go to the Director instead. So sorry you had to wait a week, we'll get it to her right now so she can look at it.

Everyday since I have called and have been told it is "On her desk and she will look at immediately."

Well, except today, when they told me she will look at it sometime next week. Problem is they only process the Federal financial aid inputs on Thursdays, and bundle up the paperwork on Friday and then it takes 7-10 business days for them to process that, but they only cut check's on Mondays and then it takes ~ 3 days for the check to get the 200 feet from the Accounting office to my P.O. Box. I am not kidding, they mail all the checks offsite and then they get delivered BACK to the university post office.

So at this point, even if she looks at it first thing on Monday (unlikely) the soonest that they would actually process my aid is the 28th, 7 days for accounting to deal with it is the 4th, cut a check on 7th and maybe... just maybe I will have it on the 11th or nearly two weeks after school started.

Why am I doing this again?

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Metalsmithing Collected

I realized that all my metal-smithing stuff was sorta scattered around and some people may not realize you can click on the tags below to see all the items.

In any case I collected all the metals schtuff in one place in it's one web folder.


If you want to book mark that link or something, I'll try and make sure any additional work I do gets posted there along with the blog archive.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Dog ... in thought.

So I came upstairs to feed the mighty Cinnamon and found her sprawled winsomely at the top of the stairs, clearly exaustesd by the wait. I ran back down and grabbed my camera, but she had moved before I could snap the shot.

The shot with the flash on, although blurry, was too funny not to post.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Comic Con Math

Steam Punk Fan Meetup:

Last Year: 250 people in attendence, room capacity 100.
This Year: 300+ express interest for the fan meetup,6 months of lobbying by the organizer, 400+ in attendance... room capacity 100.

Same exact room as last year.

Perhaps the fact the the Guinesses Book of Worlds record took the "Largest Steampunk Photoshoot" today on the back steps of the con may increase their understanding of the interest.
For the record. I am in the photo, in the back... next to the Steam-punk bunny.

Which What?


Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Finally something goes right.

At a particularly sucky summer for, a variety of reasons I won't go into here, something has gone well.

I passed my Blue-belt test tonight.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Good News bad news Good news...

Good News: at 1am on Tuesday the Emergency room is not particularly busy.

Bad news: There is something in my eye, they can't find it and although it hasn't scratched my cornea it is itchy as hell.

Good News: My insurance covered all the costs except $20. And I get to see how I react to Vicodin.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

The New Casa de' Architectures

So this is gonna be a picture heavy post, and I discovered a new trick... Photoshop Elements has a spiffy photomerge tool built into it... so I will be abusing you with panoramas. Also we are moving in, there are boxes and random stuff everywhere. Cope.

The House. Not a whole lot to say here... looks big doesn't it? It is. Over 3000 sq ft.

First Panorama. The Backyard. The 1 Acre backyard. There are horses next door. The dog is thrilled.

Living Room, from the landing.

Living Room, from the dining room.

Bonus shot of the roommate and girlfriend comparing swords. Yes... we are geeks.

Dining Room. (Aka .. the soon to be gaming room)

Second Panorama. The Kitchen. The Panorama is a little messed up. Really I needed three pictures to get it to work instead of two. However, this is what you get. The backsplash is steel.

Master bedroom with beached squid. Okay, it's actually my bed all rolled up. The picture doesn't do justice... the room is really long.

Master bath. Actually, there is a closet opposite of this and it acts as a sorta of a hallway to the actual bathroom.

Guest Bath. But if my camera is there... how did this picture get taken... hmmm...

Wait? Stairs? Where do they go?What is this? Another door? What horrors lie beyond?

Ummm... okay. Not so much a horror... just and unfinished basement.

REALLY unfinished. (Panorama three for those keeping count.)

Oh... that's better. The one of the roommates is claiming this for his office.

This one will be my cave...err... office.

There is even a workbench in the utility room.

If these pictures haven't bored you to tears, there are some more here. They include the other two bedrooms (to become a sewing room and roommate bedroom respectively,) exciting pictures of the utility room, storage room, laundry room and other fun and exciting things... like bathtubs! Ooooh!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Looming Internet Outage...

So, in case I forgot to mention it, my time here at this rental is coming to an end.

Soon (as in tomorrow) I take possession of large house with lots of space to roam about for I and my roommates.

Only problem is the soonest we can get internet service is June 5th.

Those who know me are probably aware of the fact that I am unaccustomed to going two hours with internet service... and the thought of going two weeks? *shudder*

If you here any strange noises no doubt it is me going through withdrawal in the corner.

*Edit* I called the ISP to find out if I really needed a tech or if I could plug the damn thing in myself. Apparently they are installing all new line noise filters to a tech does have to come out.

However they had a cancellation, so they will coming on Thursday the 28th instead.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Metalsmithing final projects

I will replace these somewhat crappy pictures with better ones once I am moved into my new place and get the photo booth set up.

Second to final Project: Enameling. I did prayer beads / rosary.

The total length of the piece is ~2.5 feet.

Here's a close-up of the colored beads. There are actually two beads fused into one to create a shape reminiscent of Tibetan prayer wheels. There is also supposed to be text baked on... it didn't take.

Here is the disk at the end. It has the phrase "god is great" rendered in different languages. The etch isn't as clear as I would like but in person gives the piece a worn well loved look.

I have had an offer from a classmate to buy this, and a second classmate who wants me to make one similiar but in different colors.

Final Project: Pewter-smithing. It is a single serving tea-pot.

Brushed pewter and copper balls. Holds ~ 10oz max. Really only 8oz comfortably.

I really enjoyed the pewter-smithing. I found that most of the problems the other students were having resulted from them being to heavy handed while soldering or fusing.

I intend to make a set of matching tea cup and saucer this fall.

As a matter of fact, I am supposed to take independent study Metals in the fall and focus on these two techniques: enamel beads and pewter-smithing.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Brief ruminations on the weather...

Tuesday of this week is was 73 degrees and I was contemplating having to mow the yard this weekend... which meant going out and braving the day star to pick up Cinnamon's toys.

Today... while running to get bits from ACE it started to rain. By the time I left ace it was monsooning. By the time I made it from ACE back to campus it had changed from monsoon to snowflakes the size of 1/2 dollars. From the parking lot 100 yards to the art building it went from merely snowing huge flakes to a blizzard with a visibility of about 40 feet.

It didn't get any better all afternoon.

Driving home was treat with 40-100 feet visibility and several of inches of standing water on the roads any place there was a depression. At one point I nearly lost control when my car hydroplaned at the base of a hill where I was driving 20mph under the speed limit...

Right now it's getting dark but I can still see it is snowing heavily, there is at least 6 inches of snow on the porch, and as the flakes have gotton smaller has improved so that I can see about 150 feet or so. Currently 26 degrees out.

Yay spring.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Secrets of the box.

You all remember the box, yes?

How about a close up of that lid?

Shall we look inside?

How about a close up of the inner plaque?

What could be nestled among those dividers I wonder.

Lets look...

Oooh... Airship tokens! Where on earth could they take us?

Victoria Station - Shibuichi alloy, nitric etched and tumble polished.

E.R. Burroughs Barsoomian Zoo - White bronze, nitric etched, brass brush polish.

Jules Verne Naval Academy - Shibuichi, nitric etched, brass brush polish.

H.P. Love Craft Aquarium - Copper, ferric chloride etched, liver patina.

Lemuria Crystal Mines - Copper, ferric chloride etched, liver patina.

All of them etched pretty well except the bronze, which wouldn't etch at all in the ferric chloride and etched really fast in the nitric acid. However, since I wanted the coins to be representative of survivors of some temporal holocaust from bygone age/alternate timeline I didn't mind. Same with the chew/claw marks on the Lovecraft coin. Started off as a flaw and I just went with it.

A huge thanks to "The Girl" for doing the finished artwork for the etching and "The Dad" for doing the typography.

*Edit* Corrected for spelling and Answer.

Shibuichi is a Japanese alloy that is 1/4 silver to 3/4 copper. It is a grey pink in color and patinas a variety of different colors depending on what you use.

*Edit 2* I forgot to include the lid close-up. So there it is for Ook.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

What is in the box my Preciousssss?

My last project has been returned to me. I'll make you a deal, if you can guess what is in the box I will make you your very own Steampunk something. However, if you helped me with the construction/design work you don't get to guess. (Sorry dad.)

You have 48 hours.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Happy Err... Spring?

Taken 5 minutes ago, the dog expresses her opinion of the lovely "spring" weather we are having.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

A change in my life...

So I've been struggling with this decision for some time, even going so far as to deny what has been clearly a fundamental truth about myself that I couldn't admit even in the privacy of my own mind.

I'm have been dishonest with myself and others, and it's time I came clean.

I want to get an MBA.

This architecture whimsy and predilection to the arts have been nothing more then a sham to prop up some retrograde fantasy with the humanities and design.

I want columns, spreadsheets, profit and loss statements, board meetings, and hostile mergers.

God, I LONG to run down Wall street (okay... be driven in my chauffeured limo) with a sharkskin briefcase and stack of Accelerated Depreciation forms like loaded six shooters at my side.

I understand that for many of you this will be hard to accept, but please bear with me during the difficult time. It took a lot of courage for me to admit this and you support is appreciated.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Happy Spring Break!

As my spring break comes to a close I thought I would post what the first day of Spring break looked like... and what incidentally today also looks like.

We actually had a couple day of nice weather in the mid 50s where nearly all the snow melted before it snowed again last night.

*Update* Sooo.... The week following that lovely bout of snow it hit 50 degrees and it all melted. Streets were clear green grass was coming in...

Until this morning when I woke to find the yard that was empty of snow now had 4 inches on it again and the visibility was about 20 feet with wind blowing the snow sideways.


Sunday, March 8, 2009

Lego Necklace

I finally got my project from last semester, which immediately after grading, was placed in a student art show. The poor person for whom it was a Christmas present only was able to wear it for about a week before it was whisked off to another town for two months. However, it has finally returned and have taken some photos.

Some background before the pictures.

We were doing an plastic/organic burnout project. In the project instead of spruing up wax models to be burned out and cast you sprued found objects, pine cones, insects, seeds, green army men and the like. My plan was to make clockwork dinosaur pins. I spent nearly a day chopping up and modifying little toy dinos so they looked very steampunk.

They didn't burnout. Apparently even though they felt like plastic they were actually rubber.

I bought more dinosaurs, different brand.

Same thing.

Repeat for third and fourth batch of dinosaurs.

However, in the midst of all these failed castings I had cast some Lego and Lego knock-off bricks with the thought of someday doing something with them. But after wasting three weeks on failed dinosaurs and only having 5 days til I had to turn in something.... thus the necklace was born.

Some notes about the necklace. The chain/torc/thing articulates to lay flat on the chest, angle up across the collarbones, and then conform to the neck. Since the hinges are rotational, that meant the hinges on either end of the spacer bars had to be at different angles. I managed to get it right in spite of doing it at 3am the night before the project was due. I actually had a minor little panic attack in the middle of the night when I realized I had lost track of which ones were supposed to have which angle. As luck would have it, I didn't screw them up.

Also you might notice a slight bend in the left bar. The morning of our crit one of my classmates dropped it onto the cement and then kicked it while trying to pick it up. In addition to bending that bar it bent the center bar and broke a hinge... all of which had to be fixed in less then an hour...

Click picture below for center closeup.

The picture below is a close up of one of the hinges. As you can see it only rotates around the center pin making free movement around the neck impossible. Also those flat bits, if you look at them wrong they tend to break off. Flush face solder connection not the brightest idea I've ever had.

Below is the the clasp for the necklace. I nearly melted it in a moment of inattention while soldering it together. The clasp is pure silver and has a loooow melting point.

Things I would have done differently:

1) Since I was extremely rushed for time the finish (solder spills etc...) are not cleaned up to my satisfaction.
2) It is fragile. Since the construction I have figured out no less then three different ways to make nearly the identical necklace with the same movement and do it in a way that was not so prone to breakage.
3) There was supposed to be a set stone in the center piece and in the clasp, but I ran out of time.
4) Steampunk dinosaurs! I mean it's a pretty necklace but I really really wanted the dinos.

The good news is the girl loves it.